We work closely with the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS trust in order to make sure our service can be heard in the hospitals we serve. If you want to find out a bit more about their news, please see their news page at https://www.mtw.nhs.uk/news/.
Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells has received £3000 to fund the replacement of the sound mixing desk in their main broadcast studio to enable them to continue providing bedside entertainment for the patients in the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury, Tonbridge Cottage Hospital and people convalescing at home in the surrounding area.
The donation was provided by the Santander Foundation which offers grants to UK registered charities for projects that help disadvantaged people in local communities.
The grant will enable the team of volunteers that run the Hospital Radio service to purchase a new sound mixing desk, as their existing one had developed an intermittent fault which meant the sound channels were cutting out, which directly affected the quality of programmes being provided to the listeners.
Arthur Hosmer, Station Engineer at Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells said: “although the desk is not that old, it was outside the warranty period and had developed an intermittent fault we simply could not repair. We are extremely grateful to the local branch of Santander for coming to our rescue via the Santander Foundation scheme, which means we can restore the quality of our programmes to the listeners.”
Lesley Kulezich, Branch Director at Santander’s Tunbridge Wells branch said: “The Santander Foundation makes hundreds of donations every year to good causes throughout the UK. Our branch is committed to playing a key part in the community and we are delighted to be supporting Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells and hope the donation makes a real difference to local people.”
Volunteers at Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells are now able to get interactive with their listeners in the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury, Tonbridge Cottage Hospital and surrounding community, thanks to a project funded by the Southborough and Pembury Rotary Club and the Hospital Broadcasting Association who have enabled the team to buy and set up a special Communications Hub and Text Service.
The new Communications Hub enables the radio presenters to access social media, e-mails, telephone calls and text messages. Patients who have a mobile phone or tablet can contact the team via Facebook or on Twitter as well as by e-mail, telephone and by sending a text to 60777 starting the message with the letters HRTW. This enables patients to interact with the presenters in real time and rather than having to wait for a request to be played they should be able to hear it immediately.
Hospital Radio Station Manager Chris Manser explained, “One of the key features of Hospital Radio is the ability of patients to interact with the service and have a request played or their name mentioned which helps raise their self esteem and has been proven to aid recovery. With the rapid turnover of patients in the hospital we’re not able to get request collectors around the wards as frequently as we need, so enabling the patients to be able to make contact with us, quickly and easily is a great step forward and we are most grateful to the Southborough and Pembury Rotary Club and the Hospital Broadcasting Association, who financed the buying and setting up of the Communications Hub and Text Service.”
Chris Norman of the Rotary Club explained “that for many years the club has had a strong bond with the Children’s Ward at Pembury Hospital supporting them with decorating the ward at Christmas and funding a Sensory room, so when this opportunity to extend our bond came up via the Hospital Radio Service we felt it was a worthwhile project for us to support and we are pleased to see how it will bring pleasure to the patients by enabling them to contact the radio team and have requests played more easily.”
The Southborough and Pembury Rotary Club has recently become a “satellite club” of Tunbridge Wells Rotary, meeting once a month. However this enables them to continue their charitable work with both ongoing and new projects. The money for Hospital Radio was part of a legacy left by a former member, Doug Payne, who had a long association with Tunbridge Wells.
The Hospital Radio Team is improving awareness of their service within the hospital with some posters being put up and the provision of some advertising banners. Patients can access the service via channel 705 of the plasma televisions in each room and via the hospital’s free wi-fi system installed by the League of Friends. Meanwhile friends and relatives of the patients can listen online via the charity’s website at www.hrtw.org.uk
More volunteers are needed to present the shows and collect requests, so if you would be interested in joining the team as a volunteer, please contact them via their website. The service is entirely run by volunteers and operates from rented accommodation in Tunbridge Wells town centre. The cost of running the service has almost doubled since the team had to leave their studios in the old Kent & Sussex Hospital in 2011, so they would be pleased to hear from any businesses or local organisations that could help support them financially.
In the photo are (from left to right) Arthur Hosmer (Hospital Radio) Phil Kidby (seated Hospital Radio) Peter Cornish (Rotary) Bill Bullen (Rotary) Christine Simpson (Rotary) Chris Norman (Rotary) Chris Makey (seated at front Hospital Radio)
Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells is pleased to announced that thanks to the support of Invicta Motors and Kent County Cricket Club, cricket Fans unable to get along to the Tunbridge Wells Cricket Festival will once again be able to listen to ball by ball commentary on Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells. There will be coverage of the 4 day County Championship game between Kent and Essex from July 19th to 22nd.
The stations commentary team of Chris Woodward, Chris Reed and Tim Godsalve will be based in the Pavilion to provide the ball-by-ball commentary, whilst Chris Manser will be based in the studio to provide regular updates on the scores from other games around the country and all the other sports news available.
The coverage will be heard by patients listening in the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury and Tonbridge Cottage Hospital, as well as cricket fans around the country, who will be able to hear it online via the stations website at www.hrtw.org.uk.
Chris Woodward who co-ordinates the coverage for the Hospital Radio commented "we are pleased to be able to provide commentary on the 4 day match again this year, our thanks to Kent County Cricket Club for allowing us to attend and to Invicta Motors for sponsoring our coverage again".
The Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week Festival has traditionally taken place in early June, but the organisers have moved it to a later date this year in the hope that the event won't be so badly affected by weather, which has blighted the matches for the last couple of years.
Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells is holding a special "Come and See" event on February 28th between 2pm and 5pm. This is an opportunity for anyone interested in finding out more about the hospital radio service to visit and tour the studios, meet some of the team and even volunteer to become a member themselves.
Station Manager Chris Manser said "as well as members of the public we are also hoping to see some of the hospital staff attending this event, as we are trying to raise awareness both within the hospital as well as the local community in general".
“We are looking for volunteers interested in both the broadcasting side of our activities as well as being request collectors and visiting the patients to help brighten their day with a chat and a request. Fundraising is also an increasingly important aspect of our service, so volunteers are expected to help with this as part of their involvement.”
The radio service has been running since 1961. It provides a unique mix of music, entertainment and information for patients in the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury and Tonbridge Cottage Hospital. But the service nearly came to an end when the Kent & Sussex Hospital closed and no studio space could be found within the new hospital at Pembury. But the volunteers were determined to keep the charity running and opted to rent accommodation so the patients can continue to have their requests played.
Rosemary Brooks, one of the charities Request Collectors explained “the patients really love having someone visit them and offering to play them a song, we know how playing a song and mentioning the patient’s name can aid their recovery, as it has a great affect on their self-esteem and research has shown how it helps patients to recover”.
The charity is now based in studios in Tunbridge Wells Town Centre at 23A Grosvenor Road, above the Mind Charity Shop. Anyone interested in attending the “Come and See” event are welcome to pop in between 2pm and 5pm on February 28th for a look around and a chat about the volunteering opportunities there are available with Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells.
If you are interested in getting involved but cannot visit the team on February 28th you can click the Contact Us button here on the website, or call 01892 528 528.
John Lewis at Home Tunbridge Wells has donated £682 to Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells, one of the charities involved in their Community Matters Scheme. Community Matters allows John Lewis customers to be directly involved in deciding how much each good cause receives, via a token voting system at the front of the store. At the end of each round of voting, John Lewis splits a £3,000 donation according to the proportion of the customer votes they received.
The cheque was presented to Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells by Ethan Garner selling assistant, Furniture. Ethan was delighted to be asked to present the cheque to Hospital Radio Treasurer Chris Reed and Station Engineer Arthur Hosmer, having experienced the care given by the Hospital to his recently born son. Ethan said: “Everyone at the Hospital was so caring to my son and family. The radio station provides such an excellent service with patients making requests and hearing their name on the radio; I am delighted that our customers have supported this charity.”
Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells is a small charity run entirely by volunteers. It provides bedside entertainment and information to patients in the Tunbridge Wells Hospital and Tonbridge Cottage Hospital. The service has been running since 1961 but faced closure in 2011 when the radio volunteers were informed that no space could be made available for them to have studios in the new hospital.
The team chose to rent accommodation to keep the service running and they are now busy holding various events to raise funds, as costs have escalated. Chris Manser, Station Manager said: “Schemes such as the John Lewis Community Matters are a great help in raising funds and we would like to say a massive thank you to all the shoppers at John Lewis who supported Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells with their green tokens.”
Nigel Davis, Branch Manager of John Lewis at Home Tunbridge Wells said: “Our customers are now familiar with Community Matters and the feedback has been great - people stop and take time to choose the charity they’d like to see John Lewis support. It is exciting for us to see how the vote has been split and for us to now make the donations to these very worthwhile community groups.”